If you are an entrepreneur, you need to know the basics of how to pitch your ideas to potential investors. It doesn’t matter if you wish to raise funds or not; having a presentation ready and knowing the basics of how you would present it will help you in your future endeavors.
While most fear this opportunity, you must realize that it also holds power to elevate your businesses, and if a million other entrepreneurs could do it over all these years, you too can ace it. You just need to know the basics, and you’ll get through it with flying colors.
I have jotted down the 10 most important tips that will guide you in your pitch meetings!
1. Ace Your Elevator Speech
Your elevator speech is the first few minutes of your pitch, where you create a first impression that can help you get the investment you are looking for. This speech includes extremely short descriptions of what your company does, its potential customers and the problems you solve for them, market size, and its growth prospects. The more you focus on providing solutions backed by data-driven growth, the more likely you catch the attention of the investors.
Key Tip – Be confident and remember to have a very strong body posture during the entire course of your speech. This will make them believe in your confidence as the owner of a startup that wishes to soar high.
2. Be Data-driven and Data-informed
The most essential feature of any business pitch is the data. Include statistics that can help you prove the profit prospects of your business and can help you gain the investors’ trust in your venture.
Being data-driven means crafting strategies based on current and past data to make decisions based on what analysis says. However, being data-informed means keeping data alongside but finalizing strategies based on customer information, user research, etc. Having both of these approaches in your pitch can help you prove your point of being extremely well aware, up-to-date, and your ability to make informed and intuitive choices.
3. Research on Your Industry
Researching about the industry you want to embark into is the basic step when you enter an entrepreneurial journey as it helps determine expansion and contraction aspects. However, including extensive research in your pitch about how you would establish yourself in that industry is extremely crucial.
This helps define possible future innovations, outlining profit and loss figures and creating your unique position in the market.
4. Have a Detailed and Lean Business Plan
If you want to raise a funding of a million dollars, you have to give your investors a detailed, well-researched, and strategic business plan that defines your SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threat) analysis, competitors, marketing and sale plans, division of funds into various sectors, and much more. This will help you build up their confidence in your startup.
While a detailed business plan is one thing, having a lean plan often comes in handy when your potential pitchers don’t have enough time. Keeping it short, about a page or two will help them understand the foundational pillars that your venture is built upon.
5. Talk About the Following
Let us understand what needs to be mentioned in your pitch.
A. Financial Needs
Be transparent in your pitch meetings – tell your investors if your company has already received funding; if not, then let them know your source of funding. Speak up for the amount of money that you require and let them know your plans to use those funds.
Talk about your competitors but only to showcase how your products/services are much better than theirs, what they lack that you provide, and how your business can take over their customers. Your confidence and data will help them understand your potential.
C. Exit Strategy
Be clear with your exit strategy. If you want to sell your shares, go public with your company or sell them to angel investors. Tell them your plan.
D. Projections and Targets
Keep your projections extremely crisp and brief. You must depict your targets and ways of reaching them quickly.
A company is nothing without its team. Talk about the training and skills of your employees, their contribution in your growth, and how you plan to polish and nurture them, in order to make them an asset for the company.
F. Revenue/Business Model
The most important thing that sums up everything else – How do you plan to make money? What is your business or revenue model that will generate income? Be specific about your prices and claim how your market is ready for your arrival.
6. Provide a Problem that Your Company Solves
Every company starts with the aim to provide solutions for problems, and then they generate their earnings from those who buy from them. Well, this is exactly what your investors need to know. What is the problem that you are solving? Is it being solved by your competitors? If yes, how are your solutions different and authentic from others? This emphasis on your desire to provide innumerable solutions is much more impactful than anything else.
7. Present Your Marketing Strategy
Imagine that you have created a business. Who is your target audience? How will you reach your potential customers? Will it be through digital platforms, or do you have other means of marketing?
Explaining this aspect is extremely crucial, but often missing from most pitches. Show your investors how you would convert subscribers into consumers of your services, how your team would reach a customer through marketing, and what it would look like in action.
8. Know the Investors
Before pitching, you must do your homework and research beforehand about the investors. What kind of industries do they invest in? What has been their record of investments? What stage of your business would they be interested in giving you their funds?
Here is some advice from a profound Harvard Business School professor, William Sahlman, “The best venture capitalists become trusted partners and advisors to the founders and team.” Thus, having a deep knowledge about your investors is the key to unlock future developments.
9. Prepare Yourself, then Prepare the Pitch
Your personality is as important as your business idea. What intrigues investors is the way you speak, your confidence, gestures, ability to influence, and your attire. You don’t have to have expensive clothes, but be presentable and tidy in all that you have.
If you want to get through the pitch and grow with the investor, remember that they invest first in the entrepreneur and later in the startup. With your efficiency and thoughtfulness, you can sustain your business with their funds.
10. Use the Right Template to Present Your Ideas
The most important part of any pitch is the presentation. Not only does it speak for your personal brand, but it also creates the first impression for your company before the investors. Thus, it is extremely crucial to use the right templates with a unique visual appeal to organize, arrange, and present the data.
While pitches can be extremely stressful, remember that they are huge opportunities that can change the course of your life. Therefore, before any such meetings, remember to build upon your skills, presentations, and do your research. Practice and rehearse by yourself a hundred times until you reach perfection.
We hope that these tips help you succeed through your pitch meeting!